I have always maintained a basic philosophy in life that whenever I have an option of a motorcycle to travel for distance, I don't use a bicycle. Similarly, when I have a nice sports car that can cruise against the wind, I will not ride a bike then. Before I started to take a look at the 1,000mm RF Nikkor section, I did a quick search via the web and had found our friend, Stephen Gandy from Cameraquest has already did a very detailed site on this extremely rare Reflex-Nikkor lens in S-mount. Anyway, getting original images from contributor(s) for this lens is almost impossible due to its extraordinary rare status. Besides, there is no point to replicate similar resources on the Net as long I recognize the work is good out there.

The photo at bottom of the page is a directly linked image from Stephen site (not mine), CLICK ON IT and you will catapult you all the way from Malaysia to Stephen's site in US - it is simply via a short cable / socket connection behind you computer. How nice huh ? hehe ..

W-Nikkor-O 1:4 f=2.1cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:4 f=2.5cm | W-Nikkor.C 1:3.5 f= 2.8cm | W-Nikkor.C 3.5cm lens Group (3.5/2.5/1.8) | Stereo-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=3.5cm | 5cm (50mm) lens group | RF Micro-Nikkor 1:3.5 f=5cm | Nikkor-P.C 1:2 f=8.5cm lens group / Nikkor-S.C 1:1.5 f=8.5cm lens group | Nikkor-P.C 1:2.5 f=10.5cm lens group / Nikkor-T 1:4 f=10.5cm | Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm lens group: 135/4, 135/3.5 Early / Last Version, 135/4 Bellow lens | Nikkor-H 1:2.5 f=18cm | Nikkor-Q 1:4 f=25cm | Nikkor-T 1:4.5 f=35cm | Nikkor-T.C 1:5 f=50cm | Reflex-Nikkor 100cm f/6.3

System Accessories for Nikon Rangefinder cameras
Optical Finders (4 parts):-
Fixed Focal length Finders (index page): 2.1cm, 2.5cm, 2.8cm, 3.5cm, 35cm Stereo, 5cm, 8.5cm, 10.5cm, 13.5cm | Variframe / Varifocal / Sport-frames | Nikon Reflex Housing

Nikon S36/S72/S250 Motor Drives / S36 Manual | light meters | Nikon RF Flash/Speedlights | Close-up photography / Repro Copy Outfit / Nikon Bellow Focusing Device (in progress) | Cases/Compartments | Lens & body caps, Lens Hoods/shades, Original Price Lists | packaging/boxes

Instruction Manuals

RELATIVE:- Nikon Rangefinder (RF) Models | Pictorial History of Nikon
A small visual library on Nikon Ultra-Micro-Nikkor lenses
Manual Focus Nikkor lenses | Autofocus Nikkor lenses

Related info:- Leica/
Leitz | Contax/Carl Zeiss | Seiki Kogaku (Canon)

| Message Board | lenses | Message Board | RF cameras

MIR Logo.gif

Updated info on the Nikon Mirror lens for rangefinder system
first draft, last update: 14.05.2011

Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system

Among all the active manufacturers, the inclusion of the Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm lens probably is the longest lens you can find in any rangefinder photographic systems during that period. It was introduced in 1959 by Nikon for the NIKON F but also smartly incorporated a S-mount for the Nikon rangefinder cameras, this had made Nikon can rightfully claimed to be having the most extensive selection in terms of lens selection among all labels. In fact, the Company possibly was the first to introduce a Mirror-type lens. The applied catadioptric telescope idea, was first pioneered by Bernhard Schmidt, an optician at the Hamburg Observatory in Bergedorf, Germany back in 1930 but in many ways, adoption of mirror principle for 35mm lens design can be regarded as very creative, as other than an Old Delft Delca 6.3/50cm Mirror prototype lens of 1950 for CONTAX, so far I have never heard of Leitz and Zeiss produced any others. For the record, for a long time, Nikon's Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm was also the world's fastest among all available commercial production mirror lens for 35mm photography, until the Carl Zeiss Oberkochen introduced their 5 elements 5 group MIROTAR 1000mm f/5.6 (PDF 56k).

Optical design of Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system

Optical path of Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm f/6.3, applicable for both rangefinder and reflex versions. You can download the Zeiss version via PDF link provided above.

overall dimension of Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system

The Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm has a simple, straight forward 3 elements in 2 group optical design, with picture angle covers a very narrow 2° 30' diagonal, 2° horizontal and 1° 20' vertically. The minimum focusing distance is 100 feet (30m) to infinity (oo) and maximum reproduction ratio is approx. 37.47X. It is a huge optic and weighs massively at approx. 9.9kg (21.9Ibs for first version in black only), simple because the use of f/6.3 maximum aperture which demands a large dimension for light gathering. The dimension certainly restricts portability which resulted Nikon eventually redesigned and changed their reflex Mirror lenses during the '70 with a smaller aperture of f/8.0 for 500mm, f/11 for both the 1000mm and 2000mm in order to strike a good balance between portability, practicality as well as affordability.

front lens element and rear section of a Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system
Possibly this was the first Nikkor lens that had began started using the crinkle finish, a very unique exterior texture design Nikon uses even today on many of their "high end" lenses.

The Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm was introduced first with a black version, both in reflex and RF mount. The main difference between the two was a Bellow-type focusing mechanism found at the rear mount section in the rangefinder version.
The large diameter of the lens doesn't make front filter accessories viable. Nikon had designed a rear filter system with a rotating wheel inside which hosts series of 52mm L39, Y52, O56 and Neutral density filters (A). The first few filters mentioned were supposed to be standard accessories, but the latter was not sure if there are included as standard nor if user be able to change it manually. As Mirror lens has a fixed aperture and usually it requires changes shutter speed(s) to vary exposure control but ND filter with different grade is an alternate mean or use in combination to alter exposure, so logically, user interchangeability of filters should be provided.

Update: after going through an old Nikon Sales Manual, it had specifically addressed my questions and stated "...other filters not to be used, since filters supplied as standard accessories (L39, Y52, O56 and R69) are designed with a thickness that will not affect focus .." hmmm ....

filter turnet built-in Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system
old photos of Nikon reflex mirror lens 1000mm f/6.3

Another issue is relating to focusing, unlike the convenience of direct viewing through the lens like the Nikon F offers, other than at infinity setting, it is absolutely impossible to use the camera's viewfinder to perform accurate focusing. .....>
...There is no focusing ring on the lens either, focusing is via the bellow with a trail-track and adjustment knob (B). So, for focusing use of Nikon reflex-housing is certainly required. The picture at left is shown attached with a Nikon N-F tube, it enables the S-Mount version to be used on the Nikon reflex bodies. The mechanism at the rear also permits camera can be rotates 90° for vertical or horizontal format shooting.
illustration of a Nikon reflex nikkor lens with a rangefinder Nikon and reflex housing attached
It was not known when the second version of the Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm was exactly being introduced but it did. Other than the overall grey color exterior finishing in similar crinkle texture, there were few changes being updated, the front has a circular trim ring as well as the rear section now comes with a smooth rear section in black; next, Nikon had now added the lens with a hand carrying double hand holder at the top for easy moving about. While at the front, a white collar encircles the plate. But the weight has increased significantly to, about 30Ibs with this upgrade and not sure what had caused the increase. The over-sized lens hood can be reversiblly stored, an interesting part is, the rear section had been designed with a DOME-liked rear cover. I am not sure if this is the factor (metal or plastic ?) that has contributed to its extra weight; apparently, the metal delivery case for the lens was also being updated (see below, bottom picture).

<<<--- Left: This old picture was scanned from Nikon Sales manual, it illustrates size comparison of a typical Nikon rangefinder camera with the 1000mm f/6.3 attached. Notice the reflex housing was used ?

>> --- Below: a few excellently taken photos of the grey colored Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm by Westlicht Photographica Auction photographers.

few lovely views of a grey color Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system
metal carrying case for black and grey versions of Nikon Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3 mirror lens) for rangefinder system

Front view of a Nikkor 1000mm f/6.3 for rangefinder Nikon S mount cameras

Depth of field and corresponding reproduction ratio yields at different focusing distance for Nikon 1000mm f/6.3

Grey color Nikon Reflex Nikkor (Mirror lens) 1000mm f/6.3 in carrying case, lens hood and rear dome cap
Type II Grey color Nikon Reflex Nikkor (Mirror lens) 1000mm f/6.3 in carrying case, reversible stored lens hood and the huge-sized rear dome cap / cover. This picrture has been modified for illustration purpose as well as to fit the page, original source was unknown as someone sent me years ago but didn't provide the source where it came from. Can the rightful owner contact me for inclusion of a photo credit. Thanks!


Below: An external link showing a great view of the front of a Reflex-Nikkor 1000mm f/6.3 by Stephan Gandy of cameraquest

LINK to Stephen gandy's Cameraquest Site on this extremely rare Reflex-Nikkor 1:6.3 f=100cm (1000mm f/6.3) Mirror Nikkor lens.